May 21, 2024

Avs’ Gabriel Landeskog watches practice; return ‘not close’

DENVER — Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog attended group conferences Tuesday and watched follow from the bench.

His coach, nevertheless, says he is “not close” to turning into a participant.

Landeskog, 31, had cartilage substitute surgical procedure on his proper knee final May and is lacking a second straight season. The Avalanche have yet one more regular-season contest Thursday in opposition to Edmonton earlier than beginning a first-round playoff collection with Winnipeg.

“Nothing’s really changed with him,” coach Jared Bednar stated. “His focus and determination to do everything he can to get back to play is still the same as I’ve seen it before. He’s going to be dedicated to what he needs to do in order to try and come back into our lineup.”

Bednar stated final month the group had a possible return date in thoughts for Landeskog — someday within the playoff vary — however noting extra concrete. The Swedish standout hasn’t performed because the Stanley Cup clincher at Tampa Bay on June 26, 2022.

Landeskog has been the group’s captain for a dozen seasons. The Avalanche have not named a brief captain in his absence. Instead, they have been counting on the veteran management of gamers comparable to Andrew Cogliano, together with the assistant captains comparable to Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar.

“Landy’s been involved. He was in the meeting this morning,” Bednar stated. “He’s had input in some of those meetings. Obviously, he’s not around every day. Our leadership is done by committee because, if you look at our personnel, we’ve got a lot of really good players that played major roles with us that are highly committed to what we’re doing and trying to have success.

“They’re all vocal and so they all lead in several methods.”

The Avalanche saw defenseman Samuel Girard skate Tuesday after entering the concussion protocol over the weekend. He left in the first period of Saturday’s 7-0 loss to Winnipeg following a collision with teammate Ross Colton.

“Went via a reasonably good skate, too, and began doing drills on the finish,” Bednar said. “So that is a optimistic signal.”

Rantanen is returning to form in his return from the concussion protocol. He has played in the past two games, scoring a goal in a 4-3 overtime loss at Las Vegas on Sunday.

“Feel good,” said Rantanen, who has 103 points (41 goals, 62 assists) and is just two away from matching his career high (55 goals, 50 assists) set last season. “First time being within the protocol and, clearly, you by no means wish to be in there. … I bought type of fortunate a little bit bit that I did not have any exhausting signs or something like that.”